Saturday 17 August 2019

'Hoverboards' catching fire while charging, officials warn after woman taken to hospital

Photo: Jared Mecham
Photo: Jared Mecham

Clare Cullen

The 'self-balancing scooter', known as a 'hoverboard', has become one of the most coveted items around the world in the last number of months.

2015 has definitely been the year of the 'Hoverboard' but the trend is starting to run aground.

Recently, it was deemed that riding the scooters in public was illegal in the UK and now Buckinghamshire police have come out and said that a woman was taken to hospital with burns after hers caught fire while charging.

Buckinghamshire fire and rescue revealed on Twitter that a self-balancing scooter in High Wycombe had caught fire while charging and had led to a woman being taken to hospital.

The London fire brigade also reported two incidents only last month of fires caused by the scooters. The Daily Mail reported that a grandfather was hit with damages costing £25,000 after a hoverboard left on charge went on fire.

Fire investigations officer at the London fire brigade, Andy Vaughan-Davies, explained to Buzzfeed News that cheap imitations of the expensive product are to blame.

"The crucial thing is that if people are going to buy one they should go through a reputable retailer. If they go outside of that then there’s no comeback".

BBC Watchdog last month revealed that some hoverboards are being supplied to UK customers with a non-UK mains charger which Buzzfeed report are "potentially dangerous".

Speaking on the program, a rep from Electrical Safety First said that "people are definitely at risk from what we’ve seen, particularly the charger: There’s no fuse, there’s no protection, so it’s just going to short-circuit, overheat, explode, and catch fire".

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